The Dutch House

Ann Patchett

The Dutch House


The Dutch House is a breathtakingly beautiful fairy tale-esque story about siblings Danny and Maeve. As children, their father purchases an ornate and extravagant old mansion as a surprise for their mother. The grief of having so much when others have so little overtakes their mother, prompting her to leave her family to volunteer with the poor in India. Andrea, a much younger woman who has two daughters of her own, falls in love with the house and entices Danny and Maeve’s father to fall in love with her, enacting the classic “evil stepmother” trope. When their father dies, Andrea casts out Danny and Maeve to fend for themselves.

The Dutch House is a slow, weaving dysfunctional family drama spanning 50 years. The story is told from Danny’s perspective as he looks back reflectively on his life, but Maeve, his captivating older sister, is the clear heroine of the novel. The Dutch House is enchanting and complex, with so much emotion and so much heart.

– Marilu Morgan
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